Date Approved


Embargo Period


Document Type


Degree Name

Ed.D. Educational Leadership


Educational Services and Leadership


College of Education


Coaxum, James

Committee Member 1

Doolittle, Virginia

Committee Member 2

Horner, Barbara


Case Study, Implementation, Leadership, Marzano, Qualitative, Sensemaking


Teachers--Rating of--New Jersey; Organizational change


Elementary and Middle and Secondary Education Administration


The purpose of this qualitative case study was to explore how teachers understood and changed their instructional practice in response to imposed teacher evaluation requirements. The strategy of inquiry was a single case study, representative of a large suburban high school adapting to the changes required under the provisions of Achieve NJ, the policy mandating new teacher evaluation (Yin, 2009). The theoretical framework of sensemaking and sensegiving guided the analysis of how teachers processed the changes to their evaluation system and the role the context played in the implementation of the MTEM (Weick, 1995, Gioia & Chittipeddi, 1991). Data was collected in the form of archival documents, participant interviews and field notes from observations which produced clear and coherent themes around the implementation of the MTEM.

The findings of this study indicate that teachers perceive only incremental shifts in their instructional practice, that they perceive significant barriers to implementation, that a compliance orientation exists towards the MTEM, also that contextual messages influence teacher’s perceptions of the MTEM, and that school leadership acts as capacity builders. In this setting change is framed by a teacher’s experience, and providing support that is context specific, especially for veteran teachers, is critical to the implementation process. Teacher’s resistance to change is also influenced by the context, and supportive leadership designed to mitigate resistance must take into account the contextual factors impacting change.